Does “public shaming” ever work as a deterrence? That is the reason given by Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel for the decision to have their department tweet the names of anyone it arrests for DUIs, possession of a controlled substance or driving while suspended or revoked, beginning Monday.
Over the years, I have seen attempts by police departments to shame people by publishing mug shots in the newspaper or on a web page. Yet, crime keeps on happening.
What happens when someone is found not guilty? A google search of his or her name will likely still turn up Riverside’s tweet of the arrest. What if the person was guilty, but goes on to serve a sentence, and never commit the offense again? Will the tweet remain on the internet forever?
What do you think?